Lockdown stories – Blessing Yakubu

March 16th – 22nd 2020
I had just celebrated my year 13 Leavers day; it was originally meant to be in May (on the 6th), but due to the Coronavirus, we had to cut it short. The tradition for my sixth form (FCHS) is that everyone takes pics, gets their leavers hoodies, write on each other’s tops and generally says our goodbyes. After that, we go pub hopping until the night, but due to social distancing rules the pubs in Finchley were not letting us in, so some went to a pub in Barnet whilst my friends and I were invited to another guy in our year’s house for a small get together.
I couldn’t even stay long for that as it was pre-agreed (before Boris said we wouldn’t have A levels) that me and Vanessa (my sister), would go and get some free food from Shake Shack so she could post on her Instagram food account, @tasty.tyme. Every weekend, we enjoy the privilege of eating from various prestigious London Restaurants, who pay her to blog about her experience.

March 23rd – 29th 2020
Although A levels were done I still had to finish my Btec Business Coursework so this week was spent with mum nagging me about getting out of bed to get my coursework done, which was due for the 27th, however after I sent it my teacher sent it back saying I need to do a bit more work on it.

March 30th – 5th April 2020
The first couple of days consisted of me finalising my coursework after I sent it my teacher said it was distinction worthy which meant I could relax knowing I got the highest I could get with Business Subject. However, my teachers in my other two subjects were still setting me work, even though I didn’t want to do it I was apprehensive that they would use the work outside of school to determine my final grade. A bet with my dad meant that I NEEDED 3 A’s to get a car, and this was a bet I didn’t want to lose. Towards the end of the week, however, the government finally announced how we’d get our grades, FCHS also emailed saying that they wouldn’t use any work done after school finished to give us our final grade. A weight lifted off my shoulders as I could finally say I was done with school work and I could focus on my interests.
Since 2019 I had been saying that I would launch a Lipgloss line off the success of my Instagram account @beautywithblessing. An account I created in 2018, posting skincare and beauty tips to help young people manage their beauty needs. As I have been able to grow the account to 24K followers and starting getting brand deals from companies to promote their products on Instagram, I thought, why not create my own product.
Although I had never anticipated that corona would happen, the saying goes when life hands you lemons make lemonade. So I started researching into lipgloss, looking at people who sell lipgloss over Instagram and how they do it. Eventually, I put in my orders, so now it is me simply waiting for the ingredients to come so I can get creating, launching and selling. But as the order was coming in May, my only daily commitment was to engage on Instagram and grow my account.

April 6th -12th 2020
About a week ago mum encouraged me to take inspiration from Vanessa, who is creating a course (Monetizing Your Passion As A Teen), to help young people start a business from their hobbies, just like she did. I will be giving advice on using Instagram to your advantage as I did with my beauty account, @beautywithblessing. Pre-lockdown, I did speeches on this topic to various youth groups. The course will be basically expanding on that, with details of starting from scratch to growing one’s Instagram account, up to the point of making money from that.
Although it took some time to get me thinking, I finally started sorting out the modules and how I would be filming the videos. I decided I would be screen recording my work so that users can follow along with me.

April 13th – 19th 2020
This past week was spent filming for my Instagram course, the amount of times I have filmed certain modules is ridiculous and I still haven’t finished. I also happened to call emojis youthful, me and Vanessa had such a good laugh about it that we ended up crying.
On top of that, this week has been me stressing over my follower numbers on Instagram, as I noticed they were starting to decrease because I was not engaging with people as much as I should. Even though I increased my posting and engagement it took a couple of days for my follower’s numbers to increase. You may think I am overreacting on that one, but it took me almost 3 weeks to gain 100 followers when in the past I have been able to gain up to 200 followers in a day. This is what committing to a growing audience online entails, watching your number of followers and ensuring that they staying with you.
Although the quarantine has been slightly boring it’s also nice. I’ve started cycling and I am also taking up roller skating so by the time I am out I’ll be a pro at it.

What are you doing during quarantine? Let me know in the comments section. Thank you for reading!

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